VAIO Z REVIEW: AN INSANELY EXPENSIVE BLEND OF ULTRA

With one of the most powerful máy vi tính processors from Intel và a "3D" Carbon Fiber design, the all-new 14" VAIO Z is astonishingly excellent. But that price ...

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VAIO Z (2021)

Bottom line: A super light 14" Ultrabook built using carbon fiber but with the heart of a workstation, VAIO Z is unlike any other máy vi tính on the market. The highly color-accurate 4K HDR display, excellent keyboard, và slick thiết kế is the perfect power laptop for those who want the best. It is Japanese engineering at its finest but at a high price.


The Good

Extremely light, but also powerful 35W CPUFantastic 4K HDR displayExcellent typingUnique & stunning design

The Bad

Extraordinarily expensiveIntel Iris xe pháo Graphics onlyCan get noisy under load
Just the specs

VAIO Z (2021): At a glance


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Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central


Windows laptops are broken into various categories. Broadly speaking, Ultrabooks are light, thin, and rarely have a discrete GPU. They also use 15-watt or 28-watt intel U-series processors. Workstations và gaming laptops, like the Dell XPS 15 or Lenovo X1 Extreme pack beefier 35- lớn 45-watt H-series processors, but also have a discrete NVIDIA graphics option.

Few laptops cross both categories, but that is what VAIO Z does. It is a super light 2.32 lbs (1.06 kg) Ultrabook, but it has an H-series processor found in gaming or workstation laptops. It is a rare full bộ designed for working professionals who want a powerful CPU but don"t need the bulk of RTX graphics.


CategoryDeviceNameTKTKTK
OSWindows 10 Pro
Display14-inch UHD (3840 x 2160) HDR16:9 DCI-P3 100%Anti-glare, non-touch
ProcessorIntel bộ vi xử lý core i7-11375H (35W TDP) up khổng lồ 5GHz
GraphicsIntel Iris xe cộ Graphics
MemoryUp to lớn 32GB LPDDR3x (4,266 MHz)
StorageUp to lớn 2TB PCIe ren 4 SSD
Front Camera720P HD with Time-of-Flight sensorPrivacy shutter (manual)
SecurityWindows Hello IR (face)Fingerprint reader (power button)
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6Bluetooth 5.0
Ports1x HDMI2x USB Type-C with Thunderbolt 4Mic/Headphone
AudioDual speakers
Battery53 WHr (Up to 10 hours)65-watt Type-C AC charger
Dimensions320.4 x 12.2~16.9 x 220.8 mm
Weight1.06 kilogam (2.32 lbs)
ColorsSignature black
Price$3,580 to $4,180

VAIO uses some incredible engineering with the VAIO Z. While Lenovo uses Carbon Fibers in many of its ThinkPad laptops, VAIO uses a new "three-dimensional molding" technique effectively makes the entire máy tính xách tay chassis Carbon Fiber instead of just the lid & bottom. VAIO can now curve the Carbon Fiber around the edges as three-dimensional structures instead of just flat 2 chiều panels. This ability allows the VAIO Z to be both incredibly light but also tough and rigid. It"s also likely why it is so darn expensive.


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Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central


Indeed, VAIO puts its laptops through extreme quality testing with bending, drop, & flex tests, & the VAIO Z complies with the MIL standard (MIL-STD-810 H).

Besides the powerful H-series processor, VAIO uses PCIe ren 4 for the SSD, which more than doubles traditional Ultrabook read & write speeds (more on those below). RAM starts at 16GB LPDDR4 but can go up to lớn 32GB (onboard).

VAIO Z is the Grand Seiko of laptops: Precision and quality.

The display is a stunning 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) anti-glare non-touch. It is extremely màu sắc accurate and features HDR for higher-contrasting colors and video content. The display can tilt back 180 degrees to lớn lay completely flat. A shortcut button flips the display and the trackpad letting the person opposite you see the screen for presentation purposes.

Ports are scarce with just two USB Type-C (Thunderbolt 4) and a full HDMI port, which is still used extensively in japan and in business markets where this is aimed.

The overall kiến thiết is familiar khổng lồ the VAIO series, with a rear lifting mechanism that allows more air below the máy tính and an angled typing experience. You can xuất hiện VAIO Z with one hand too, which is a nice touch. Venting is unique with dual fans and a right-sided intake and left-side exhaust with some residual venting in the rear (hence why so few ports). VAIO has some extreme copper heat piping khổng lồ keep that 35W processor cool.


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Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central


The keyboard is wide, spacious, backlit, và is phối up for international use (US). The trackpad is chất lượng in that it is non-physical & instead relies on two slight left and right buttons for clicking. It is a decent-sized one (a change from many Japanese laptops) with Microsoft Precision Drivers.

The battery is pegged at a smallish 53 WHr, typical for Ultrabooks, but on the small kích cỡ for a device with a more power-hungry H-series processor.

An amazing design

VAIO Z (2021): What I like


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Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central


The is nothing like VAIO Z on the market in terms of size, performance, features, & design. As is typical with premium Japanese electronics, you are paying for extreme unique control & precision manufacturing. VAIOs may look light & thin, but they are built khổng lồ take a beating too.

The Carbon Fiber materials give the máy tính an almost unearthly feel as it is both super light & unyielding. The brushed finish found on the premium version"s lid gives it some style, & the VAIO biểu tượng logo is clean & minimal.


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Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central


While I prefer 16:10 or 3:2 displays these days, the 4K UHD 16:9 on the VAIO Z is fabulous. Color accuracy is the highest for laptops in this class, with 100 percent sRGB, 87 percent AdobeRGB, và 99 percent DCI-P3. Brightness peaks at 408 nits, making this máy vi tính very usable outdoors when combined with the anti-glare design. HDR & wide color gamut is also supported, making video and imaging nội dung pop.

The VAIO Z"s keyboard is one of the best I have used. It is spaced apart lượt thích how HP does its EliteBooks và Spectre series laptops with an ample 1.5mm of travel. When you xuất hiện the lid, the rear máy tính xách tay lifts, giving an angled, ergonomic typing experience. I love typing on this thing. This design also hides the lower bezel of the display, giving an overall pleasing all-screen look.


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VAIO also uses a new "fluorine-containing UV coating," which helps prevent fingerprints on the keyboard. As a result, unlike ThinkPads, the VAIO Z stays remarkably smudge-free.

The trackpad is tricky as it is an older style version with a non-clicking pad (but it uses Precision drivers with full gesture support) & two smaller left & right-clicking buttons below. It is spacious, and after a few hours, I had no problems adjusting to lớn the layout.

Windows Hello infrared facial recognition worked flawlessly, although the front-facing webcam is merely OK at 720P resolution. VAIO ships this máy tính xách tay with a Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensor so that VAIO Z can automatically lock and unlock depending if you are standing in front of it. ToF is an increasingly common feature of hãng intel 11th gen series devices (sorry, AMD). It is fascinating as it gives a truly hands-free experience while improving device security.


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If facial recognition fails or the physical privacy shutter is engaged, VAIO added a fingerprint reader to the power nguồn button (top right of the keyboard), which also had a green nguồn LED, as an alternative.

Performance is where the VAIO Z excels compared to most other Ultrabooks. The PCIe 4.0 Samsung SSD is off the charts fast with 6,517 MB/s sequential reads, and 4,388 MB/s write – effectively doubling any máy tính xách tay SSD from 2020. The i7-11375H performs similar to lớn a gaming máy tính like the Lenovo Legion 5i 15 or Razer Blade Pro 17 & is quite ahead of any other 14-inch Ultrabook. However, Razer"s impressive Book 13 still edges it out at times.

Xem thêm: Máy Tính Bảng, Tablet Samsung Chính Hãng, Giá Rẻ Trả Góp 0% 04/2022


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VAIO Z thermals: This máy tính stays cool despite the powerful 35W CPU, but the fans can get loud.Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central


Thermals are superb. VAIO Z rarely peaks over 102 degrees Fahrenheit (39 degrees Celsius), a nice side effect of using so much Carbon Fiber. Under 3Dmark"s Time Spy bao tay Test (20x loop), VAIO Z passes with a 97 percent score, ensuring high frame-rate stability.

Battery life varies depending on how hard you push that 35-watt CPU. On PCMark"s battery rundown thử nghiệm (Modern Office) at 150 nits of brightness, VAIO Z does alright at 10 hours & 42 minutes. But push that CPU harder while pushing that 4K display lớn 400 nits brightness with HDR, and you are more in the 5 to 6 hours territory.

Some powerful fans

VAIO Z (2021): What I don"t like


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Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central


There is not much wrong with VAIO Z, but few weak areas may bother some users.

The audio is far from the best, although it is better than previous VAIO laptops. VAIO puts two front-facing speakers on the lower front edge (just below the palm rests). They are not terrible, but they vì chưng pale compared khổng lồ HP Specter, Dell XPS series, or Razer"s Book 13.

While VAIO did a fantastic job of cramming a powerful 35-watt CPU into VAIO Z, the resulting dual fans can get loud (57+ dB) when in performance mode & heavily pushing the CPU under constant load. This is a máy vi tính you will hear across the room if using the CPU khổng lồ its full potential. That said, if you are using VAIO for productivity, on battery, set to recommended, and quiet usage, the fans are non-intrusive. (VAIO has software that lets you personalize thermals, fans, & quietness).


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Ports are also few & far between because each side of this máy tính uses a fair amount of real-estate dedicated to lớn keeping it cool. I would have preferred a Type-A instead of a full HDM as Type-C can serve as video-out these days.

Finally, there is the price. I find the quality and craftsmanship of VAIO extraordinary và worth the cost (if you plan lớn use it for a few years), but the eye-watering $3,580 starting price (16GB, 512GB) is super aggressive. If you want the 32GB mã sản phẩm with a 2TB drive, you are looking at $4,180, making this one of the most expensive laptops on the market.

Army of one

VAIO Z (2021): The competition


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Lenovo"s ground-breaking ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga 5G (2021).Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central


There are no immediate laptops that combine extreme lightness with this 35-watt processor making VAIO Z a nearly one-of-a-kind Ultrabook. But there are a lot of notebooks that compete in other ways at far lower costs.

Razer Book 13 has powerful performance for its class, but it"s nearly a pound heavier with a worse keyboard. You vày get much better audio, a Type-A port (plus HDMI), a taller 16:10 display, & pricing starts at $1,200, making it much more accessible.

Lenovo"s new ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga gets back khổng lồ the crazy thin, light, and immensely flexible territory. It is a true 2-in-1 convertible, supports inking, and has optional 5G LTE while also pushing the extremes in design và pricing, starting at $2,900. But its CPU pales compared lớn VAIO Z"s.

MSI"s forthcoming Summit E13 Flip is also a slim convertible productivity laptop. It is still heavier at 2.97 lbs (1.35 kg) and has a slower (but excellent) 28-watt bộ vi xử lý core i7-1185G7 processor with more ports và a much larger 70 WHr battery.

Samsung"s Galaxy Book S is lighter at 2.1 lbs (0.96 kg) và thinner at just 11.8mm. You can get 4G LTE in the version with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx, which pales in performance to VAIO Z. An hãng sản xuất intel version forgoes LTE but gets a bit better performance.

Finally, there is Lenovo"s fascinating ThinkPad X1 Nano (review coming soon), which weighs only 2 lbs (962 grams) & offers either a 15-watt core i5-1130G7 or core i7-1180G7, both of which are not nearly as powerful as VAIO"s. It only has two Type-C ports, but our initial usage leaves us impressed with the design & battery life. Pricing starts at just $1,350.

See more in our best Ultrabooks roundup.

Tough pricing

VAIO Z (2021): Should you buy?


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Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central


You should buy this if ...

You prefer a super-powerful CPU, but don"t plan lớn gameYou adore VAIO"s unique design & next-level engineeringYou want a bộ combo of extremely light with high performanceYou want a rugged laptopBudget is not a concern

You should not buy this if ...

You need a cảm ứng screen, inking, or a 2-in-1 designYou flinch at $3K+ price tagsYou need long-lasting battery lifeYou don"t bởi vì heavy processing

The all-new VAIO Z stands out from every other Ultrabook on the market, but it comes with a heavy price tag. The engineering & design here are highly respectable. I must admit there is something genuinely satisfying in using the VAIO Z. The display is fantastic, typing is perfect, it is crazy light và portable, and it"s a flat-out great laptop. Frankly, I was sad when I had to lớn return it.

VAIO rightly makes a big khuyễn mãi giảm giá about that chất lượng assurance, too, noting "All products are shipped after going through a process called Azumino FINISH, in which a dedicated VAIO engineer conducts approximately 50 chất lượng checks." That may be hard to translate khổng lồ costs, but it"s one reason why VAIO is such a respected brand. Basically, VAIO is the Grand Seiko of laptops with a heavy focus on precision and excellence.

But its insanely high price is going khổng lồ be hard lớn justify for many people. That is a shame as the VAIO brand, heritage, & craftsmanship are things more people should experience.


4out of 5

But if you don"t mind the high price & you want the full bộ of one of the lightest laptops with a powerful CPU (though still behind Apple"s M1), the VAIO Z is worthy of your attention.